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"The movie stars Paul Giamatti, who you may remember from such films as...Planet of the Apes."










The Masked Reviewer

The Masked Reviewer decided that, since it's Oscar(tm) season once again, it's high time to see at least one of the nominated movies this year.

You know, since he's a movie reviewer.

The first choice was Sideways which has been nominated for directing, writing, and a supporting actor performance.

The movie stars Paul Giamatti, who you may remember from such films as Private Parts, Confidence, Man on the Moon, and Planet of the Apes.  He also appeared in American Splendor as a creative, yet schlubby guy.  That role has somewhat been reprised in Sideways.  He's creative, but he's oppressed.  And repressed.  And depressed.  If there's any kind of pressing, it's happening to Giamatti in this movie.

Thomas Haden Church is also in this film, playing Giamatti's character's best friend.  Thomas Haden Church played Lowell on "Wings", back when NBC filled the airwaves with laughs on "Must See TV".  Maybe this was before that.  He should not be confused with Hayden Christensen.  It's easy to make that mistake...Hayden/Haden.  Church/Christian/Christensen.  The later stars as the young Darth Vader (not to be confused with the really young Darth Vader, Jake Lloyd...whatever happened to him?)

Also starring in the film is Virginia Madsen, who is Michael Madsen's brother.  How cool is that? 

The movie is about friendship and life.  There aren't any big explosions or evil aliens trying to take over the world...although, that would be a cool twist.  Instead, it's what you call a "slice of life" and a character study.  It is brilliantly acted, especially by Paul Giamatti, who is always good.  It's a crime that he received no nomination for his work on this movie, but no one said life was fair.

Another important character in this movie is wine.  If you love wine, you might find the film to be especially interesting -- the life of the wine snob is explored.  If you don't know (or care) about wine (or whining, for that matter), you'll still find plenty to enjoy. 

The performance and direction are learn a lot about the characters and how they see the world, and it teaches you a little something about life without being heavy-handed.  That's always nice.  The movie has a number of memorable funny scenes, and it's undoubtedly one of the better "real" movies of the year, even though it was nominated for an Academy Award (tm).


Expectation from the Title: A movie that was shot with the camera turned 90 degrees clockwise.

Mother's Rule (Always Say Something Good About Everything):  Paul Giamatti could make a living as a professional schlub, but he's probably doing quite well for himself.

The Pros: Funny, interesting, well-acted.

The Cons: The wind-down is a bit uneven; the role will seem a bit familiar to Paul Giamatti's fans.

If you're looking for info on Paul Giamatti or Paul Giamati or Thomas Hayden Church or Hayden Christensen or Virginia Madesen, then this is the right place.

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